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Minutes of the America First National Committee

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BE IT REMEMBERED that the America First National Committee met on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 9 p.m. East Coast Time, pursuant to the Resolution of the Operating Committee adopted on March 3, 2008.

The Chairman led the National Committee in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mr. Hey delivered the Invocation.

The Secretary called the roll of National Committee members.

Present:

  • Peter Browning of Florida
  • Martin McClellan of Florida, National Vice-chairman
  • Maureen McHugh of Illinois
  • Jonathan Hill of Massachusetts, National Chairman
  • Dan Eller of Michigan
  • John Wagner of Michigan
  • John Pittman Hey of Mississippi, National Secretary and Treasurer
  • Romelle Winters of New Hampshire
  • Michael Lynch of New York
  • Bradley Maurer of New York
  • Frank Hackl of Wisconsin

Absent:

  • Larry Carroll of Colorado
  • Anne O'Brien of Colorado
  • Greg Roberts of Missouri
  • Joe Spitzig of Ohio
  • Ward Chorpenning of Ohio
  • David Thomas of Pennsylvania
  • Samuel Cross of Pennsylvania

Trey Golmon of Mississippi and Tom White of Massachusetts joined the meeting after the roll call had been taken.

A quorum being present, the Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:15 p.m. ECT.

The Credentials Report was reviewed. Mr. Hey moved that the Certified List of National Committee members as recited during the roll call be approved without amendment. His motion was seconded by Mr. McClellan and adopted by unanimous vote.

Mrs. Winters moved that the Agenda be adopted as presented. Her motion was seconded by Mr. Browning. The Agenda was approved by unanimous vote.

The Chairman delivered his report. He reported the many press releases prepared and released since the last meeting. The Chairman encouraged the state party leaders to ramp up local and state activities to help grow the party at the grass-roots level. He also reported the completion of the next newspaper and several articles which he had prepared for publication. The Chairman promoted the petitioning activist program as a good way to build memberships and make contacts.

The Secretary reminded the members that he had previously circulated draft minutes for the August 6, 2007 meeting of the National Committee. Mr. Hey moved the adoption of the minutes. His motion was seconded by Mr. Maurer. The minutes were adopted by unanimous vote.

The Treasurer referred the Committee to the full Report that has been published on the Reflector and on the Agenda web page. The current account balance is $11813.56. The required monthly FEC reports have been prepared and submitted to the FEC; they may be reviewed on the FEC's public web site.

Mr. Hill reported Mr. Schweingrouber's resignation as chairman of the Public Relations Committee due to his moving from Ohio to Virginia.

After some discussion, Mr. Maurer moved that Mr. Schweingrouber be replaced as chairman of the Public Relations Committee by Mr. Michael Lynch. His motion was seconded by Mrs. Winters, and adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hey nominated Mr. Browning for election as chairman of the Party Building Committee. Mr. White seconded the nomination. There being no further nominations, Mr. Browning was elected by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hey moved the adoption of a Resolution referred by the Rules Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Maurer. The Resolution reads as follows:

Rules Committee Resolution Relating to Organizing Committees

Resolved, by the America First National Committee:

That, the Rules of Operation of Organizing Committees be amended by adding a new Section 10 to Article VII to read as follows:

"In the event of a vacancy in the position of National Party Building Committee Chairman, the Operating Committee shall by majority vote appoint an Organizing Committee Liaison who shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the National Party Building Committee Chairman as described in these Rules until such time as the vacancy has been filled; and the notices, minutes, and petitions which are required herein to be delivered to the National Party Building Committee Chairman shall instead be delivered by the proper Organizing Committee officers to the Liaison until a new National Party Building Committee Chairman shall be elected."

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hey moved the adoption of a Resolution referred by the Rules Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mrs. Winters. The Resolution reads as follows:

Rules Committee Resolution Relating to the National Membership Organization

Resolved, that the "Resolution to Establish the America First Party Membership Organization" adopted on October 7, 2003 by the National Committee be amended by striking numbered paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, inserting a new paragraph 2, and renumbering the paragraphs in proper sequence. The new Paragraph 2 shall read as follows:

"Membership shall begin on the date of receipt of the required membership form by the National Secretary, and shall lapse if the member fails to inform the National Secretary of any necessary updates to his mailing address."

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Hey moved the adoption of a Resolution referred by the Rules Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. Maurer. The Resolution reads as follows:

Rules Committee Resolution Relating to Database Security and Organizing Committees

Resolved, that the National Committee amend the "Resolution to Ensure the Integrity of Party Database Assets" adopted on 2/10/2004 as follows:

a) by inserting in the numbered list a new item # 2 to read as follows: "2. Of an Organizing Committee that has been recognized by the National Committee; or," and by renumbering the subsequent item in the list to follow in proper sequence; and

b) by inserting before the current paragraph which begins with the words "That at all times it shall be prohibited," a new paragraph which reads as follows:

"That any person who is a member of a recognized organizing committee shall be issued a unique password that will provide access to the database for his state only upon approval by unanimous vote of the Party Building Committee, or by majority vote of the Party Building Committee at two consecutive meetings; but such access may be revoked at any time by majority vote of the Party Building Committee."

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mrs. Winters moved the adoption of a Resolution referred by the Operating Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. McClellan.

Mr. McClellan moved an amendment to the resolution, which was seconded by Mrs. Winters and adopted by unanimous vote. A duplicate word was removed by unanimous consent.

The Resolution as amended reads as follows:

Resolution Calling on Congress and The President to Renounce Support for Unrestricted Free Trade and to Impose Protective Tariffs

Whereas, a nation's political independence is related to its economic independence; and,

Whereas, for the first 70 years of the 20th century the U.S. had trade surpluses, but for the last 35 years we have been running deficits, with unprecedented annual manufacturing deficits now in excess of $500 billion; and,

Whereas, millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost to overseas competition with protectionist nations like China and Japan, with protectionist regions like the European Union, and with low-wage nations like Mexico; and,

Whereas, 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost between 2001 and 2007, many to nations where workers earn 10% of U.S. wages; and,

Whereas, the Merrill Lynch Chief Economist for North America recently predicted the further loss of 2.5 million U.S. jobs in 2008; and,

Whereas, 33% of U.S. jobs in 1950 were in manufacturing, but now it is 10% and declining; and,

Whereas, the United States now depends on imports for 66% of its apparel and textiles, 50% of its automobiles, 30% of its steel, and virtually all of its TVs, tape recorders, radios, cameras, and many other goods; and,

Whereas, in many key industries, including aircraft engines and parts, and environmental controls, imports had captured 60-69% of the market by 2005; and,

Whereas, in key sectors such as machine tools, electric resistors and capacitors, imports had captured more than 70% of the market by 2005; and,

Whereas, in 1848, the infamous Karl Marx endorsed Free Trade, writing that "Free Trade ... works destructively [and] ... hastens the social revolution"; and,

Whereas, Adam Smith, the famous 18th century market theorist, enforced Britain's protectionist tariff policies as Commissioner of Customs, and referred to unrestricted free-trade as utopian; and,

Whereas, protectionist tariffs have traditionally been a feature of U.S. trade policy, as evidenced by the fact that the Tariff Act of 1789 was the very first bill to be passed out of the very first Congress; and,

Whereas, tariffs were instrumental in developing the American economy, having ushered in many periods of prosperity, such as between 1869 to 1900 when the GDP quadrupled, prices fell 58%, and real wages increased 53%, despite a doubling of the population; and,

Whereas, it is irrational to deny in the face of all the evidence that the failure to protect U.S. industries and workers with protective tariffs is gravely damaging to U.S. independence, workers, and industry;

Therefore, be it resolved by the America First National Committee:

That, for the purpose of protecting the American interest, as well as United States economic and political independence, the Congress and President of the United States are exhorted to:

1. immediately renounce all ideological attachments to unrestricted Free Trade; and,

2. immediately renounce U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); and,

3. immediately, enact equitable tariffs which compensate for Value-Added Taxes imposed by our trading partners on our exports, and which compensate for other trade advantages resulting from currency manipulation and low wages; and,

4. refrain from any further illegal attempts to usurp Congress's constitutional mandate to regulate trade, either by delegating this role to the international community, or by diluting this role through schemes like "Fast-Track" Trade Promotion Authority.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mrs. McHugh moved the adoption of a Resolution referred by the Finance Committee. The Resolution was seconded by Mr. White. The Resolution reads as follows:

Finance Committee Resolution for Newspaper and Fundraising Letter Budget Request

Resolved, by the National Committee of the America First Party:

That, up to $3,700 be spent on the printing and mailing of 5,000 copies of the America First Leader newspaper; and,

That, the Finance Committee is authorized to send a fundraising letter to the membership and donor list within 45 days after the mailing of the next newspaper issue.

The Resolution was adopted by unanimous vote.

Mr. Eller led a discussion regarding possible nominations or endorsements for President by the party. The Chairman stated that such matters can be dealt with as soon as the other parties have made their nominations.

A general time of discussion took place.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by unanimous vote at 10:30 p.m. ECT.

Respectfully submitted,

______________________
John Pittman Hey
National Secretary
America First National Committee

 
 
   
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